The alarm went off at 5:00AM to rouse us from our
sleep. We quickly dressed, brushed
teeth, and grabbed the day’s food from the bear box before hopping in the
car. We drove towards the parking area
on the northeast shore of Tenaya Lake, eating our breakfast of peanut butter
and jelly on cinnamon raisin bagels.
Around 6:00AM we were navigating along the climber trails towards the
granite slabs at the base of Tenaya Peak.
We scrambled up for a few hundred feet until the slop became worthy of
roping up for some simul-climbing. We
simuled for a few hundred feet of climbing before setting up belays. The weather was fantastic and our spirits
were high. We were the first climbers on
the route and we did not see another party until a group of two appeared behind
us and we started to belay. A few
pitches later, around 9:30AM, we stopped on a large ledge for “lunch,” a second
round of peanut butter and jelly on cinnamon raisin bagels. We let the group of two pass before moved
As Doug belayed Dave up the next pitch, Alex looked at the
guidebook and realized we had made excellent progress. It looked as if we were already at the top of
pitch 12. That left 2 more pitches
before a scramble to the true summit.
Doug apparently forgot to tell Dave when he reached half rope, so when
Dave yelled down asking about it, Doug said “You have 4 feet to me!” Dave mistook this for “You have 4 feet to the
middle” and was surprised that he still had so much rope left. Dave was not at a place he could set a belay,
so Doug scrambled up a few feet to give Dave more rope to work with, while Alex
had him on belay. Dave set a belay and
now Doug was double belayed. When all
three of us rejoined at the belay Dave set, we let a free-soloist pass through
the loose blocky area ahead before we moved on.
Above the blocky section, we found
a fantastic 5.7 hand crack to finish the climbing of the route. Our only wish was that the crack had been
longer! We scrambled to the summit to
take in the amazing 360 degree views, have a snack and take some pictures. We were on the summit by noon, had never
taken off our approach shoes, and had a fantastic day of climbing!
We navigated our way down to sloping slabs on the northeast
side of the peak and around to the back side of it. We would need to hike down and around the
backside of the peak, which would take us to the opposite side of Tenaya Lake from
where we parked. On our way down we
spotted two large birds (wild chickens, alpine hens, mountain chickens…) and of
course Doug took pursuit of “dinner.”
Birdless we made our way over the granite slabs, through the woods, and across
fallen trees (aka log rides) until the sounds of people on the shores of Tenaya
Lake could finally be heard. We followed the
official trail, putting running girls in bikinis within eyeshot of cheerful
Dave and Doug, until we found ourselves back at the road near Sunrise trailhead. A perfectly timed park shuttle showed up and
saved us from the long walk up the road to our parking area. We cheerfully thanked the driver for his impeccable
timing as he drove us towards our parking area.
We stopped at the camp store for a few dinner supplies, and
mauled a bag of Doritos in the parking lot.
Back at camp, we cooked up tortillas topped with cheese, hot sauce,
rice, onions cooked with black beans, and avocado. The rest of the day was spent lounging and
napping before we scavenged some additional firewood from the woods behind our
site. We had an evening snack of corn
cooked over the campfire… it was delicious!
Sleepily we headed off to bed, cheerful that we would not have to awaken
before the sun in the morning!